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Debunking the "Israeli genocide" slander
08-12-2014, 08:35 AM, (This post was last modified: 08-12-2014, 08:51 AM by SirBustaBear.)
#1
Debunking the "Israeli genocide" slander
Genghis Khan With a Computer?

[...]

One quotation in particular sticks with me, from an academic often cited by Liberals who despise Zionism: "Sometimes I feel that Israel has come out of the boils of hell, a satanic state." That is Norman Finkelstein, a Jewish academic who has spent much of his life analyzing this issue. He has called the nation: "Genghis Khan with a computer." I wanted to know whether he was right.

[...]

When it came to Israel, in particular, I wanted to look into the very worst: the ugliest that modern Israeli history can offer. If I had been averting my eyes from atrocities, I wanted to know. I am not a fool and I am not corrupt – if I were looking full into the face of evil, I would know.

[...]

The Holocaust was an effort to erase not simply every individual Jew, but everything associated with the people. Their entire being. Their "genus:" class, or kind. Hence, "genocide." It was a proposal to eliminate Judaism on every level: physically, culturally, theologically. If there had been only a thousand Jews in the world, murdering them with this intention would have been genocide. Since there were millions, it required the slaughter of millions.

[...]

Note that "genocide" in the strictest sense presupposes "genocide" in the less precise sense: In order to commit genocide, you must at the very least aim to murder an entire people. On top of this, your intent must be the eradication of their nature.

In short, no matter how you define the word – and academics argue this point fiercely – the genocide of the Palestinians, who number in the millions, would involve at the very least Israel's concerted effort to commit murder on an unspeakable scale.

[...]

Most people are aware that Israel has not murdered tens of millions of Palestinians. I am sure that some consider the number to be over a million: innocent Palestinian women and children, murdered by the Jews. The more historically aware will realize that this probably could not be the case, given the region's population, but surely Israel is responsible for hundreds of thousands of fatalities? If not the death of civilians, then at least the death of armed combatants. Here we must be on solid ground. In 1948, the Arab population under the British Mandate was close to 1,200,000 people. A genocidal nation – correction, the genocidal nation – must have undammed a river of blood.

THE TOTAL NUMBER of Israelis and Palestinians killed, in over half a century of conflict, is approximately 15,000. This includes all of the fatalities on both sides. The great majority of these have been armed enemy combatants.

I urge you to check these numbers for yourself. They are academically sound – we have nowhere near the uncertainty that we have regarding, for instance, Stalinist Russia. The Polynational War Memorial calculates a total of 14,500, from 1948-2009. Add 272 casualties reported by B'Tselem (The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories) to bring us from 2009 to the present: 14,772. You can round that up to 15,000.

[...]

If you're concerned about sources – and you should be – B'Tselem's figures have been criticized as biased in favor of the Palestinian cause, and Uppsala University, the source for the rest of the data, is more likely to have an anti-Israel bias than not. Nevertheless, both groups strike me as decent, academically rigorous liberals, who care about the truth. If their sympathies were to distort data, it certainly would not be in Israel's favor.

So: 15,000. The number of civilian casualties, on both sides, is a fraction of this: You will find no credible source placing that number in the five figures.

I shall also leave it to you to determine whether Israel targets civilians. Do your own research. Assume the very worst. You will be disappointed, but you will find allies. This is a good starting point: "Targeting Toddlers," an article in the left-wing Village Voice.

If 15,000 is the total for all lives lost, Palestinian and Israeli, armed and non-combatant, then the figure for unarmed civilian fatalities on the Palestinian side is what? You are welcome to try to whittle this figure down further. The truth is that you could devote your life to parsing this, and remain unsatisfied. The numbers are distorted by propagandists on both sides; they deal with ill-defined categories (what constitutes an armed combatant if there is no regular army?) All I can say with certainty is that the number of Palestinian non-combatants killed, since the founding of Israel, is in the four figures.

This should not be trivialized: Whether it is 4,000 or 8,000, we are talking about thousands of human beings, each an innocent civilian, loved and mourned. The difference between 6,000 and 6,001 is, to that person's family, everything.

What is beyond certain, however, is that this total is – relative to the world's genocides and relative to the size of the populace – astonishingly low. It is even surprisingly low relative to minor wars. For the likes of Norman Finkelstein in particular, it is scandalously low.

If you consider Israel to have committed anything that looks remotely like genocide, you are embracing an ignorance that is inseparable from the most vulgar forms of prejudice. It is so patently counterfactual that you cannot even call it bad history: It is simply slander. While it may not be anti-Semitism, always – not strictly speaking – it shares more than a little with the notorious blood libel: It is a lie calculated to conjure the image of the murderous Jew.

[...]

If you consider Israel a genocidal nation, you are either incapable of distinguishing between a pond and an ocean, or you are – more likely – a bigot.

I am not simply referring to the fact that the Palestinian people are very much alive: Israel-haters conceptualize this as a botched genocide. I am referring to the fact – the hard, numeric, undeniable fact – of how many Palestinians have died in the conflict with Israeli Jews over the course of six decades. This toll would be an afternoon's work on the part of any actually genocidal people.

Every day during the Rwandan massacre, 10,000 civilians were murdered. Mostly with machetes. Despite much more efficient and appalling weaponry, the civilian tally in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – including deaths on both sides – has not reached that daily figure in over half a century.

There is certainly much to criticize in Israel. The plight of the Palestinians is very real, and some Israelis have evinced bigotry bordering on fascism: In particular, the most virulent among the settlers of the West Bank. The settlers account for 4.1 per cent of Israel's total population, however, and they are not homogeneous in their attitudes towards the Palestinians.

The Haredim, the ultra-religious, form some 10 per cent of the populace, and while the worst of them still revere Rabbi Meir Kahane – whose fascist Kach party has been outlawed in Israel – the Haredim cannot be counted on for toxic anti-Palestinian views: some are in fact hostile to Zionism.

[...]

Full disclosure: I do not like these people. At all. I never have. In case there is any doubt, my research here is predicated on an unwavering principle: An innocent Palestinian life is as valuable as an innocent Israeli life. Period. The loss is equal. It is obscene to suggest otherwise.

[...]

It is undeniable, however, that many good-hearted liberals lean very much on Finkelstein for their views. They imagine he speaks for them. Hence, when Norman Finkelstein describes Israel as "Genghis Khan with a computer," it is your moral duty to do some simple math.

Civilians killed by Israel in fifty years (most of them not deliberately targeted), number at most a few thousand. Genghis Khan – despite computer illiteracy – is responsible for what was almost certainly the greatest bloodbath in pre-modern history. Finkelstein is not merely exaggerating. He is not using poetic license. He is carefully and viciously slandering an entire people.

The quotation above is excerpted from this: "I have some good friends and their families there, and of course I would not want any of them to be hurt. That said, sometimes I feel that Israel has come out of the boils of hell, a satanic state."

It is worth taking a brief look at the boils of hell. By coincidence, the concentration camp that Finkelstein's mother survived – Majdanek – is associated with the largest single massacre in the history of the death camps. "Operation Harvest Festival" was punishment mostly for the uprising in Treblinka: part of it involved rounding up and shooting 18,000 Jews. In a single day. In one methodical operation – in one location – more people were deliberately butchered than all of the Palestinians and Israelis who have died in the conflict, soldiers and civilians, in fifty years. In one day.

Operation Harvest Festival lasted for two days, however. And it was not restricted to Majdanek. By the end of the second day, 42,000 Jews had been exterminated.


So much for "the boils of hell." Arguably, however, it is the first part of Finkelstein's statement – the generous, sympathetic remark – which is the most revolting: "I have some good friends and their families there, and of course I would not want any of them to be hurt."

Let us be utterly clear. The famous blood libel in Europe was no mere insult: It was responsible for centuries of misery. Jews were, yes, hurt. They were in fact exiled, tortured and slaughtered, based on the widely accepted belief that they murdered gentile children and used the blood in the Passover service.

The widely accepted belief that Israel is a genocidal nation is not quite the same, true. It is worse. It is far worse. Finkelstein does not use the word "genocide" here, but – even though he does not want to see any of his good Israeli friends hurt – he would have you believe that the Israeli state is comparable to Genghis Khan's Mongols, who butchered millions, who slaughtered three out of every four people on the Iranian Plateau.

[...]

An individual life always matters, of course – it is the world, and more – but for the purposes of clarifying this particular libel, these precise numbers are not the issue. Worse, they are a red herring: They distract from the crucial intellectual task at hand. We are trying to grasp the difference between the death of a few thousand individuals and the whole-scale slaughter of a nation. We have all that we need – the numbers and the precision – to show that defaming Israel with this slur is a particular kind of lie: it is not simply inaccurate, but it is inaccurate by orders of magnitude.

[...]

Even those without a PhD can be surprisingly slippery in the charge of genocide. Many are aware of the debate over the meaning of the term: they use this to gain room to wiggle. Others will insist that the Israeli crime is a special type of genocide: It does not look like what we have seen historically, but only because it is subtle. "Slow-motion genocide" is a favorite of the more practiced sophists on Huffington Post. Also "passive genocide." The first suggests that not all of the deaths have occurred yet, but they will. The second suggests that a huge number of non-violent deaths could have been prevented if the conflict had been avoided.

"Slow motion genocide" is easily refuted: even discounting international refugees, the Palestinian population has more than tripled since the founding of Israel. In 2010, according to the World Bank, the population of the West Bank and Gaza was 4,152,100. It has grown since. To demonstrate that something is moving slowly and inexorably towards a certain point, you must at the very least demonstrate that it is not moving backwards. Zeno would have found this paradox unimpressive, for the simple reason that it is not a paradox. It is simply wrong.

"Passive genocide" is the more compelling theory, because you can use it to generate figures that look something like actual genocide: hundreds of thousands. These are the Palestinians who would – we are told – be alive if their circumstances had been different.

This figure is almost always calculated with Israel in mind, of course. You rarely hear of the "passive genocide" of the world's poor, whose shocking infant mortality rate could be ameliorated if they were simply less poor. Still, it is worth investigating.

Infant mortality turns out to be crucial – it is perhaps the single most important statistic. The World Health Organization explains that it "correlates strongly with more comprehensive measures of health, such as disability-adjusted life expectancy." They go on to reveal reluctantly that the infant mortality rate among Palestinian refugees is lower in the West Bank and Gaza than it is in Syria or Lebanon. Moreover: "Perinatal mortality is highest in Lebanon, and maternal mortality has been consistently higher in Lebanon and in the Syrian Arab Republic than in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank for the past 20 years."

Therefore, if you truly wish to embrace this concept of "passive genocide," you have to conclude that Syria and Lebanon are committing this vicious but mysterious crime against the Palestinians much more aggressively than Israel is.

Impeded access to healthcare is also said to be "passive genocide." Americans in particular should think hard before embracing that definition: Harvard Medical School has determined that 45,000 people per year die in the United States because they lack health insurance. I happen to despise this cruel system – and the Tea Party revealed its true nature in applauding this barbarism – but lots of ugly things are not genocide.

When the Palestinian Authorities cancelled payments in mid-treatment for critically-ill patients as a protest tactic, human rights groups were appalled, but the words "passive genocide" were avoided. Rightly so.

"Passive genocide" is a pernicious term, of course, because it renders actual genocide meaningless. Every nation with a sizable population of unhealthy citizens is committing "passive genocide."

We know what actual genocide looks like. There is nothing passive or lethargic about it. Genocide of a people who number in the millions means efficient butchery on a scale we associate with factory farms. Yes, Professor Finkelstein, the Holocaust was an industry: a multi-national abattoir. To accuse Israel of "passive genocide" or "slow-motion genocide" is simply a useful way of diverting us from the truth: that Israel is not remotely guilty of the inconceivable crime committed by Hitler. Which is to say the deliberate, premeditated annihilation of a people.

Which is to say: genocide.


http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/douglas-anthony-cooper/israel-genocide_b_1146088.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/douglas-anthony-cooper/genocide-libel-ii_b_1146096.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/douglas-anthony-cooper/palestine-israel-genocide_b_1146105.html
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08-12-2014, 10:44 AM, (This post was last modified: 08-12-2014, 10:45 AM by pax681.)
#2
RE: Debunking the "Israeli genocide" slander
SirBustaBEar.. please read this LINK HERE
Then read what you have written..
Quote:What is beyond certain, however, is that this total is – relative to the world's genocides and relative to the size of the populace – astonishingly low. It is even surprisingly low relative to minor wars. For the likes of Norman Finkelstein in particular, it is scandalously low.

If you consider Israel to have committed anything that looks remotely like genocide, you are embracing an ignorance that is inseparable from the most vulgar forms of prejudice. It is so patently counterfactual that you cannot even call it bad history: It is simply slander. While it may not be anti-Semitism, always – not strictly speaking – it shares more than a little with the notorious blood libel: It is a lie calculated to conjure the image of the murderous Jew.

[...]

If you consider Israel a genocidal nation, you are either incapable of distinguishing between a pond and an ocean, or you are – more likely – a bigot.
quite literally straight out teh Hasbara handbook with regards to empathy(used as bait) then switch it round using emotive language and switch to try to raise guilt.
thing is....
harbara bullshit Wrote:What is beyond certain, however, is that this total is – relative to the world's genocides and relative to the size of the populace – astonishingly low. It is even surprisingly low relative to minor wars. For the likes of Norman Finkelstein in particular, it is scandalously low.
this is just plain shite, as thing could technically have been said about ANY genocide, the Hutu and Tutsie genocide attempt and of genocides in general.
and to deny the above statement is DESIGNED to guilt trip people and also undermine Finkelsteins credibility to boot.
No matter what attempt at sophistry you try and no matter how you present this and that..... this is the internet age and we CAN find the unfiltered facts quite quickly now.
But please do feel free to read that handbook then RE-READ what you just posted......
[Image: siolflag.gif]
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08-12-2014, 11:34 AM,
#3
RE: Debunking the "Israeli genocide" slander
The greatest psycho nation to currently roam the planet, practicing racial hygiene in the name of their missing foreskins, are still the yankee noodles.
History's 3rd dimension is always fiction
Competition is a sin
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